It seems you are planning to bring a Guinea Pig home. Very high in demand, guineas are undoubtedly the upcoming stars of the pet world.
A Guinea pig also called Cavy is no less than Cuteness Overloaded. A tiny funny guinea is usually very playful and loving by nature.
Moreover, children easily get bonded with guineas and adore their company a lot. However, before bringing the new family member home you must know how to take care of the cutie. Let’s take a short tour to understand what guineas need to stay healthy and happy.
Guinea Pigs can be maintained quite easily. I am sure if you keep them healthy and happy then you too will feel joyful and active all day. The main things you should think of are their cage, food, hygiene, and care and it goes this way:
Buy a Big Guinea Cage
Yes, you read it right, big cage for the small buddy. Guinea pigs are extremely active and they love running a lot. Cages for other rodents are comparatively small and won’t be sufficient for your guinea.
- Look for a cage that is 7 to 8 square feet big. Whereas, if you are planning to bring two or more guineas home then prefer to buy a 10 to 11 square feet cage.
- If the base of the cage has wires, do not forget to cover the base with a tray. Otherwise, the cage wires will keep hurting your guinea’s feet.
- Cover the tray of the cage with a paper sheet, then place a thick layer of bedding. The paper will make it easier to clean the cage. Bedding of timothy hay will best suit the guineas.
- You can also customize and prepare a guinea house rather than buying a guinea cage.
- Place a food dish, a water bottle, and some toys for your guinea.
Prepare a Room
Prepare a room where your guineas can roam around freely without any risk. They need to stretch their limbs and explore the room.
- There shouldn’t be any wires that your guinea might chew.
- No other pets like dogs or cats should be allowed in the room initially as guineas get scared of them. Slowly but carefully you may introduce them to other pets.
- Keep the doors closed so that the cavy does not escape. If he manages to escape, then there are hardly any chances you could catch him.
- Choose a room in which you can clean the floor easily as guineas would make it dirty.
What to Feed to a Guinea Pig?
You can purchase commercially available guinea foods. Feed them just ⅛ cup guinea food a day. You can also ask at the pet store about how much to feed him.
- Feed him fresh Timothy hay daily; it is his favorite food.
- You may also provide him with green fresh vegetables like spinach, kale or lettuce.
- Guineas also like carrots and sweet potatoes which can be fed once or twice a week.
Remove whatever remains. Give only fresh hay and vegetables every day. Give fresh water to drink in their water bottle.
How to Clean a Guinea Pig?
Do not bathe your guinea as they don’t like it. They can clean the furs on their own. If your guinea has an infection to be treated, then ask a vet on how to bathe him. Most of the cleaning essentials are:
- Brush your guineas hair daily if he has long hairs. You can brush him twice a week otherwise. You may also wipe him with a clean cloth.
- Be careful he doesn’t catch a cold if for some reason you are planning to bathe the guinea. Preheat the room in winters, especially. Make sure the water is neither too cold nor too warm.
- Use a mild shampoo specially meant for sensitive pets like guineas. A shampoo meant for the rabbits is generally good on guinea’s skin. However, you can consult a vet to know the right product.
- Do not blow-dry the hair, rather wipe off the water with a dry soft cloth. Keep the room warm until he dries completely on his own.
- Clip the guinea’s nails at regular intervals. Long pointed nails might hurt you. Trim the tips of the nails and avoid cutting the quick. If you have never done it before then take him to a professional.
- Clean the guinea house twice a week or more if required.
- Serve fresh food and water daily.
Give him Another Guinea
No matter you are there with your guinea pig 24×7, humans cannot replace another guinea pig. Cavies like to interact and play with their cavy friends. Hence, choose to bring at least two guinea pigs home. If you stay out for long hours, you do not have to worry. Your guineas will remain absolutely fine with each other.
How to Find Out if Your Guinea is Sick?
It is not so easy to find out if your guinea is not keeping well. However, if you notice any of the symptoms like:
- Inactivity and laziness for long
- Runny nose
- Hair loss and bald patches.
- Not eating any food
Then take a visit to the vet as your cavy could be sick.
It is very easy to maintain guinea pigs. They are small, cute, and adorable. However, they cannot be trained like cats and dogs. Just play with them or simply watch them play with each other. Guinea pigs can relieve all your tensions after a long stressful working day.